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Inspiration, Psychology, Society

Asylum Seekers Don’t Have a Choice

Imagine if this was your family?

You blokes are alright! We feel sorry for you blokes, these folks, the boat people, they jump the queue“.

Come again? What queue? And even if there is a queue to get into Australia – asylum seekers would not be in the same queue as skilled workers from the United Kingdom. I would fully expect these people to be rushed through. I would insist these people go ahead of us! We can sit quite comfortably and wait, these people need our help. Our life is not in danger.

Asylum seekers do not have a choice. No body would ever choose to seek asylum away from their home, their family, their friends and everything that is familiar to them. In my mind, they have never jumped any aforementioned queue that my family or I have waited in whilst our visa’s processed and I will tell you why: My family and I had the choice. We decided one night over some wine and tapas to try a new country for some fun and adventure. And this is key – we can always go back whenever we want to. We wanted to come here for a change of scene, a positive new experience to add to the story of our life. We are from a wealthy area of the world and my husbands qualifications are sought after. We had the choice and we decided to give Australia a go.

Asylum seekers do not have a choice. They will probably never be able to return home. Can you imagine lying in bed at night and worrying – are my family still alive? Have they been bombed? Is the family home still standing? Has my mother, daughters, sisters been raped? We find it hard to comprehend as we live a very easy and privileged life in Australia. We can not begin to imagine the horrors that these people have faced, the abuse they have suffered to have led them step on a rusty old boat with no clear idea of where it is heading. It is out of desperation, it is not out of choice. There is nothing sinister in their motives to arrive on safe land again. Any human being could be pushed to these extremes.

Why should we care about these people? Are you a breathing, living being who has love for at least one other person in this world? Then ask yourself, why the hell would you not care about other people? We have an international responsiblity, we have the resources, the space and most of all we should have the humanity to do the right thing. We must ensure these people are treated with respect and compassion. These are heartbroken, devastated, terrified human beings.

Why Australia? They have little choice – they most likely don’t look at a holiday brochure and say to the captain take us here please and how’s about a cocktail and some olives when you get a minute! Why put your family on a boat? No choice. Hey we’d all love to travel by cruise liner or first class air travel but something tells me they don’t have the spare cash lying around. Why no paperwork? What paperwork? It’s all been destroyed by the people smugglers or destroyed after their home was blown up. You try finding your passport or bank statements at 3am with a gun to your head. You try filling out a visa application form and waiting in vain for a reply whilst everywhere you look you can see death and destruction. You’d be dead or mentally destroyed before you get an answer. Why do they think they can just come over here and get help? We need to look after our own first surely? Well what choice do they really have? They need our help and can’t get any help from the country they have fled!

Asylum seekers do not have a choice. They need our help. I say don’t be greedy and gobble up the yummy pie all to yourself – share the pie! There’s plenty pie for everyone! You never know, one day in the future it might be us in our cosy, free world who are fighting to get out. We might be the ones desperate for some other nations help.

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About Alana Munro

Writer. Mama to three, wife to one. Red wine consumer.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Asylum Seekers Don’t Have a Choice

  1. Great post – articulate thoughtful and timely as it is Refugee week on the Surfcoast.
    Just a few thoughts about Australias’ policies. Australia needs to lift its humanitarian intake and it needs to change its policy towards asylum seekers , in particular we need to put an end to mandatory detention.
    Phil Glendenning of the Edmund Rice Centre (for justice and community education) cites the policy document ‘The Better Way”. He says “We need to join with those Western nations that provide community supervision of asylum seekers”.
    The policy outlines 3 accommodation options to replace mandatory detention depending on the security risk. Interestingly the cost savings would be enormous at more than 60% per detainee per day.
    This system Glendenning talks about is already in operation in other western countries – he says “We have got to discover the decency to accept that this way of detaining and punishing people has got to stop”
    We have to speak out by contacting Immigration Minister Chris Bowen -02 6277 7860 , or by writing to him at PO Box 6022 House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT ,2600

    Posted by Theresa Rose-Ham | June 22, 2011, 7:55 pm
  2. Hi there Therasa,

    Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your input. I will certainly be following up on this very important human issue. Thanks very much for the contact information.

    Alana x

    Posted by theladylounge | July 1, 2011, 11:02 am

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